Pickled Stuffed Vine Leaves

PIN-Pickles Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe - cookin5m2 -1442Pickled Stuffed Vine Leaves recipe - cookin5m2 -1444.jpg

If you’re anything like me, it would be the joy of your days to be in the wilds surrounded by nature. One can’t think of being away from nature would create a sense of anxiety that is only cured by total immersion.
This is one of the little things that one finds out about himself gradually as days go by. One goes from despising the idea of camping out there in the wild exposed to wild animals and insects to despising the idea of being in the middle of the concrete jungle exposed to wild humans and insects.

Whatever you do in the mountains feels purposeful. Sometimes you go for a walk in the neighborhood and that feels rewarding, sometimes it’s watering the garden, other times it’s the time take to remove the weeds, or climb up and pick the produce and pluck out the good ones. It feels that whatever you do is rewarding in a sense. Nature is rewarding and with some more time and patience, those rewards get more valuable.

Pickled Stuffed Vine Leaves recipe - cookin5m2 -1414.jpg
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Spicy Cheese Tripolitan Kaak and Salmon Cream Cheese Kaak

After touring all day with an Irish couple coming for the Taste Lebanon company I am part of and walking for more than 9.2 Kms, my family decided to go to Tripoli to the Ramadan daily special Iftar and sohour (the after midnight meal that should help you sustain an all-day fasting) that spread all over the city

PIN-Spicy Cheese Tripolitan Kaak and Salmon Cream Cheese Kaak - cookin5m2 -2027

After walking around in the old souk and Khan Al Aaskar, I was delighted by the liveliness of the city. Muslims break their fast at around 8 pm and after that, they’re out in the streets shopping and eating and drinking and playing cards in coffee shops and having a good time. Continue reading

Marjoram and Pine Cone Roast Chicken

Marjoram and Pine Cone Roast Chicken - cookin5m2 -iphone

Being up here in the mountains is therapeutic.

Each week, we get all the stuff we need for our weekend event Blooming April and take the one-and-a-half-hour road up on Thursday to start preparing the space and the food before the weekend arrives.

Fridays are busy for us here. We lay out the mats with the tables on top of them, we wash the water and arak pitchers, we fix the garden and the house inside, and we work on the food prep with what we can make a day ahead. Despite the work load we have, I cannot miss the chance at enjoying a delicious lunch. Continue reading

Rose Petal Jam

PIN-Rose Petal Jam Hardine Recipe - cookin5m2 -1149 copy

Surrounded by nature all around, it would be ridiculous not to use nature’s gifts that are presented on the door steps here.

We’ve been coming here to Hardine to help fix our friend’s house since March.

I’ve witnessed how nature changed from its idle state of slumber to its vibrant blossom and now with its lively greenery. It evolved with every passing week. It is fascinating seeing how silently nature worked to emerge those buds from the lifeless limbs of wood then for those buds to become blossoms and leaves.

Blooming April Week 3 - cookin5m2 -0268Blooming April Week 3 - cookin5m2 -0281 Continue reading

Strawberry Granola Bowl of Sunshine

PIN-Strawberry Granola Bowl of Sunshine recipe - cookin5m2 -1008 copy.jpg

It’s been raining here for two days now. That ain’t stopping me tho!

Yo Rain, Cash me ousside, how bow dat?

I went to kick this storm in the butt. I walked out in the mist, defying all the horrific thoughts that stormed in my head about some monster jumping out of the mist to attack me. I calmed myself whenever I walked into a set of tangling trees whose branches are having an endless orgy for years. I calmed myself away from the idea that a beast might be lingering and I’m disturbing its natural habitat, especially when I hear them beasts of owls and wolves and foxes and other wild animals calling for something so loudly at nights all over the valley. Fortunately, all I ever found is countless tiny frogs jumping right and left as I walk by. I guess I squished hundreds or thousand of them, those who weren’t fast enough to hop to safety. I don’t think I’l be trying cooked frog legs any time soon. Continue reading